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BillSILVAR President Bill Moody presented the Charitable Foundation scholarship award to Annacy Sampas, a graduating senior from Leigh High School.

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR), is awarding $1,000 scholarships to each of 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley for the 2017-2018 school year. SILVAR REALTORS® are presenting the awards to the recipients at their school’s senior awards night.

The scholarship awards are made possible by donations from REALTOR® and affiliate members of SILVAR. Now in its 19th year, the Charitable Foundation has presented $342,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from high schools located in the communities served by SILVAR members.

The Charitable Foundation’s scholars program recognizes students who have exemplified outstanding achievements in academics, extracurricular/employment activities and community involvement. The selection committee includes representatives from the local business community, area high schools, area colleges and SILVAR.

Students who received scholarships, the schools from which they graduated, and the colleges and universities they plan to attend are: Kelsey Bohannon, Cupertino High School (Northeastern University); Li Qing Loo, Fremont High School (Tufts University); Emma Chiao, Gunn High School (Swarthmore College); Emily Korn, Homestead High School (Willamette University); Annacy Sampas, Leigh High School (Santa Clara University); Jodie Bhattacharya, Los Altos High School (Stanford University); Shomil Jain, Los Gatos High School (UC Berkeley); Anastasiya Poplavska, Lynbrook High School (Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo); Joseph Lohmann, Menlo-Atherton High School (University of Pennsylvania); Sydney Olay, Monta Vista High School (Cal Poly – Pomona); Cathy Xuan Zhang, Mountain View High School (Stanford University); Naima Castaneda Isaac, Palo Alto High School (Spelman College); Aditi Garg, Prospect High School (Scripps College); Kelly Koh, Santa Clara High School (University of Southern California); Dean Stratakos, Saratoga High School (Stanford University); Karissa Yau, Westmont High School (Stanford University); Michelle Mathew, Wilcox High School (UC Berkeley); and Alexander Caceres, Woodside High School (Oberlin College).

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REALTORS® discuss issues with Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

 

The leadership of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) joined more than 9,000 REALTORS® and guests from across the country in the nation’s capital this week for the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo to advance policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to buy, invest, own and sell real estate.

On their agendas this year were visits with members of Congress, regulatory agency officials and top industry leaders; attending some of the nearly 100 available conference sessions on topics ranging from policy to technology; and focusing on the yearlong commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

REALTORS® are advocating support for several important legislative initiatives, including strong net neutrality protections to ensure the internet is open and competitive for consumers and businesses; renewing and strengthening the long-term viability of the National Flood Insurance Program; indexing homeownership tax incentives for future inflation and permanently extending the tax exclusion on mortgage debt forgiveness; and adopting sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the Fair Housing Act.

NAR is also urging Congress to adopt sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the Fair Housing Act. As members of NAR, REALTORS® subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics, which includes a commitment to provide equal professional services regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, and as of 2009, sexual orientation, and since 2014, gender identity.

SILVAR leadership met with U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, who represents California’s 18th Congressional District, Jackie Speier, who represents the state’s 14th Congressional District and Ro Khanna, who represents District 17. Representing SILVAR at the Hill meetings were SILVAR President Bill Moody, President-elect Alan Barbic, NAR Directors Leannah Hunt and Jim Hamilton, Federal Political Coordinator of Congresswoman Eshoo Carole Feldstein, Executive Officer Paul Cardus and Government Affairs Director Ryan Carrigan. Also at the meetings was Board Director Joanne Fraser.
 

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SILVAR members get ready to meet their legislators.

 

In light of California’s ongoing housing availability/affordability and supply crisis, this year on Legislative Day, in addition to the “hot issues,” the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) asked REALTORS® to ask their legislators what they propose to do to increase the housing supply in California

C.A.R. senior vice president and chief lobbyist Alex Creel said home prices are too high because of the limited supply of homes and that’s because government at the state and local level is constraining supply and this has led to laws on rent control and exclusionary zoning. The state’s homeownership is among the lowest in the nation. Average rents in California cost 50 percent higher than the rest of the country.

“The solution to the housing affordability crisis is not price control. It is dealing with supply and the constraints that limit supply,” said Creel.

Creel said the legislature can help by streamlining the permitting process, fixing CEQA, requiring local government to meet their housing requirements, fund affordable housing and defeat bills that discourage construction of rental housing.

Thus, after the joint luncheon, SILVAR members met with Senators Jim Beall and Jerry Hill, and Assembly members Evan Low and Marc Berman and discussed the housing issues and asked them to take C.A.R.’s position on the following bills:

AB 1979 (Bonta/Steinworth) – Homeownership Savings Accounts – SUPPORT
This bill allows homebuyers to establish a Homeownership Savings Account (HSA) to purchase a home without paying tax on the interest earned on funds in that account; permits taxpayers to exclude from gross income earned on money contributed to a HSA up to 20 percent of the median home price as determine by the Department of Housing and Community Development; and permits contributions to HSA from relatives and others, as well. This would help families struggling for a down payment on a home, benefiting 3.5 million families.

SB 1469 (Skinner) – Accessory Dwelling Units – SUPPORT
Despite recent changes to state law making it easier to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs), many local governments are using overly restrictive ordinances and other loopholes to deny their development. This bill would streamline the approval process for building ADUs by prohibiting the imposition of impact fees, connection fees and other fees levied by local entities on construction of ADUs and would only permit local government to deny construction if it adversely impacts fire and life safety. It also states if the local government fails to act on the application within 60 days, the project would be approved.

AB 2618 (Bonta) – Specialty Licensing – OPPOSE
C.A.R. opposes this bill because it requires real estate licensees to complete a mandatory property management certification program to perform property management services that they are already licensed to provide. It also requires private owners to obtain this certification even if they use a licensee to manage their property. The measure is unnecessary, duplicates existing law, and provides no additional consumer protections. There is no data to support the need for additional certification or training.

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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) requires that every REALTOR®, in order to maintain membership in the Association of REALTORS®, must complete a 2 1/2 hour Code of Ethics course every two years. This means all REALTOR® members of an Association of REALTORS® MUST COMPLETE the ethics training at some point between the cycle of January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018. Failure to comply with this required ethics training is a violation of a membership duty and will result in suspension and possible termination from the member’s primary Association.

Training may be completed through local associations or through another method, such as home study, correspondence, classroom courses, or online courses. Code of Ethics training is also included in CalBRE license renewal requirements, so if a member has renewed their license between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018, their Code of Ethics requirement is covered. If you have already taken Code of Ethics training for this period outside of California license renewal, via NAR or the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.), or elsewhere, please email a copy of the certificate to  your primary Association before the deadline of December 31, 2018.

If you have not taken a Code of Ethics course since January 1, 2017, you can take the free online training offered by NAR. For more information on this mandatory NAR requirement and online classes, visit NAR CODE OF ETHICS ONLINE.

If you are uncertain as to when your license expires, please call your primary Association. The next compliance cycle will start January 1, 2019 and end on December 31, 2020.

 

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